It has been a full years since I made the switch to a vegan diet … and I haven’t looked back! I really enjoy vegan food and surprisingly, I don’t miss meat or even dairy at all. I do occasionally add some vegan meat or dairy products to my food, which helps. My favourite vegan product is Chipotle Vegenaise. It is AMAZING! Even though there are a lot of vegan “meat” and “dairy” products, I try to eat them in moderation and focus on eating whole foods.
Since I do not have the time or skills to cook fancy meals, I have a few go-to meals that include a variety of grains, vegetables, and lentils. Last night I prepared a couple of these basic meals and packaged them up for lunches. The one was a quinoa and rice blend with veggies, tofu, and a Thai curry sauce. I often include lentils and/or beans as well, but my pot was already so full! The second dish was a whole wheat pasta with veggies, “sausage”, “cheese”, and a tomato sauce. The vegetables I use in my cooking is based entirely on what is in the fridge, this usually means broccoli, spinach, bell peppers, and carrots.
I recently read No Meat Athlete, written by ultra-marathoner Matt Frazier, and one of the things that stuck with me was the suggestion to eat one salad and one smoothie a day. Although I don’t actually have one of each a day, I do try to incorporate salads and particularly smoothies on a regular basis. My smoothies generally consist of Vega plant-based protein powder, spinach, frozen fruit, oats, and soy or almond milk. As someone who despises vegetable juice, particularly tomato juice and V8, I’ve found that I can actually cram a lot of spinach into a smoothie without being able to taste it, especially if there is citrus or berries.
Tip: When opening a new tub of protein powder, be sure to find and remove the little packet out of the protein powder that protects it from moisture. I recently learned this lesson the hard way when Jesse asked me, “Why is there paper in my smoothie??” Ironically, the only word I could make out was “harmless.”
When you tell someone that you are vegan it usually sparks discussion about food and diets. One of the most common questions is “where do you get your protein?” Since I do not consider myself an expert, I will let Matt Frazier to explain in his post, Protein for Vegetarians — A Simple Guide to Getting What You Need.
Last year I trained for and ran a 5k, 14k, and two half-marathons (21k), as well as participated in a hot yoga challenge and the Runner’s World Holiday Run Streak challenge. I was able to do this all on a vegan diet and felt great doing it! This is much more than I had ever accomplished as an omnivore. And as a bonus, I even lost a few pounds!